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Great White Pelican

on March 17, 2008
Aquarium Guide - Mini

The great white pelican has white feathers with black wing tips. Its bill is yellow, blue, and pink with a small pink hook on the tip and a distinctive, elastic yellow pouch underneath.

Great White Pelican

Design

The great white pelican lives, feeds, breeds, flies, and migrates in large flocks. When feeding, the flock surrounds schools of fish and forces them into shallow water, making the fish an easy catch. However, this feeding method was not part of the original created kind’s habit until after the Fall of man.

Features

  • The great white pelican has white feathers with black wing tips.
  • Its bill is yellow, blue, and pink with a small pink hook on the tip and a distinctive, elastic yellow pouch underneath.
  • The female is slightly smaller than the male.

Fun Facts

  • The pelican’s bill can reach over 18 in (45 cm).
  • The majority of the great white pelican’s day is spent loafing around on sandbars and small islands.
  • The pelican eats a captured fish whole.
  • This bird is one of the largest flying birds in the world.
  • It breeds in trees, which may be killed by repeated nesting. Each nesting colony contains 20–500 pairs of pelicans.
  • Chicks hatch naked but soon grow white down feathers. It takes about 84 days for the chick to fledge (leave the nest).

CLASS: Aves (birds)

ORDER: Pelecaniformes (pelicans, tropicbirds, cormorants, and relatives)

FAMILY: Pelecanidae (pelicans)

GENUS/SPECIES: Pelecanus onocrotalus

Size: Male 6 ft (1.8 m); female 4.5 ft (1.4 m);

average wingspan 10 ft (3 m)

Diet: Mainly fish

Habitat: Eastern Europe to Western Mongolia; Migrates to Northeast Africa and Iraq to Northern India

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